National MS Society
Stony Brook University
Below are some questions about pediatric MS. If you have a question that we did not address below, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who gets MS?
(MS) is typically thought of as an adult disease, yet as many as 5% of all persons with MS may develop symptoms in childhood or adolescence.
How will I know if my child has MS?
Experts in the treatment of multiple sclerosis say more children are being diagnosed with MS, an autoimmune disease thought to strike mostly adult women.
How common is MS in children and what is age of onset?
MS is usually thought of as a disease of adults, with the highest incidence of new diagnosis among people in their 20s and 30s. Its onset generally occurs between the ages of 15 and 55. But, uncommonly, MS is diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 15. A diagnosis before the age of 10 is even rarer, although there have been isolated reports of infants as young as 18 months diagnosed with MS. Children with MS generally experience the same types of symptoms as adults, including possible cognitive dysfunction that may affect school performance.
Is MS hereditary?
There is a very small
correlation between parents with MS and children or adult children developing
MS. However, the vast majority of individuals with MS have neither a parent nor
child affected with the disorder. Studies to date do suggest that genetic factors
may make certain individuals more susceptible to the disease than others, but
environmental factors may also be important.